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Residents May Have to Dispose of Their Garbage Disposals

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RALEIGH — From vegetable peels to leftovers from dinner, people throw just about everything down the drain.

However, some of the stuff we get rid of is harming our environment. If we are not careful, we all might have to do without disposals in the future.

The city's public utilities director is most concerned about grease in Raleigh's sewer lines.

"Because it builds up over time and causes a blockage that can result in sewage overflow," said the Dale Crisp, public utilities director.

The city cleaned one sewer line just six months ago and the grease has already accumulated.

That, plus pressure from regulators to stop overflows has the city on a grease-cutting campaign which includes the prohibition of one of the kitchen's most indispensable dispensers, the garbage disposal.

"It's one of the things that is most commonly placed in a garbage disposal is scrap food or meat. Almost any meat contains some degree of fat," said Crisp.

The prospect of their disposal-using days grinding to a halt got mixed reactions. Mary Droessler uses hers sparingly.

"I could live without out easily. If it is for water quality, I would do it in a heartbeat," said Droessler.

Julie Gilbert wishes the city would just scrap the idea.

"To me it sounds like a far stretch. There are other things in the home, I'm sure, that do just as much damage as a disposal," said Gilbert.

There is no ordinance in place on the garbage disposals yet. They will have a hearing on it on Dec. 7.

Never put lye or other chemical cleaners down the drain.

Periodically fill your sink with a few inches of cold water and run the disposal. If you leave town, make sure the disposal is empty so you do not come home to a stinky sink.

Odors can be removed by running orange or lemon peels or ice cubes through the disposal.

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Len Besthoff, Reporter
Terry Cantrell, Photographer
John Clark, Web Editor

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